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Stats on health care decision makers.

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WOMEN, YOUNGER INDIVIDUALS, and individuals who experienced an increase in either premiums or cost sharing are more likely to seek information on health care costs, quality, and access in order to make informed decisions. Additionally, people with a higher level of education are also more likely than those with less education to research information, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Among the key findings from EBRI's Health Confidence Survey:

Demographics: People under age 45 were more likely than those 65 or older to try to find information about the advantages and disadvantages of different treatment options, the full costs of different treatments, the costs of different doctors and hospitals, and the number of disciplinary actions taken against a doctor or hospital. There is some evidence that minorities and lower-income individuals are more likely to search for cost information than whites.

Health status: Individuals in (self-reported) fair or poor health were more likely to report that they tried to find information on the number and success rate of procedures performed at a hospital. Among those who reported that their health status had gotten worse during the past five years, about one-half (52 percent) reported that they tried to find information about the advantages and disadvantages of different treatments.

Health coverage: The uninsured were more likely than those with coverage to search for information about both treatment costs and provider costs. Individuals not satisfied with their health plan were more likely than those who were extremely or very satisfied to try to find information about treatment costs and provider costs, and they were more likely to search for information about the advantages and disadvantages of different treatments. Individuals who reported that they had experienced an increase in either premiums or cost sharing were more likely than those not experiencing an increase to try to find information about the advantages and disadvantages of different treatments, doctors' training, and costs of treatments and providers.
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Title Annotation:BENEFITS NEWSWIRE
Author:Ivy, Jenny
Publication:Benefits Selling
Date:Apr 1, 2011
Words:323
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